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Manila – The Gender and Development Committee of the Institute for Labor Studies conducted the first of its major activities for Women’s Month which is a Gender Sensitivity Training titled, “When Listening is Not Enough: Gender Sensitivity and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace,” last March 19-20 at the iLearn Conference Room in Intramuros, Manila.

Day 1 of the two-day event featured presentations on the following gender-focused topics: “Sex and Gender: Common Biases and Perceptions in the Workplace” by Ms. Gina Rose L. Chan from the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies; “Gender and Decent Work” by Ms. Malorie Joy O. Mones, ILS-GAD Chairperson; “What is Sexual Harassment?” by Ms. Mercy Apurado from the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC); and “Monitoring Sexual Harassment Compliance in the Workplace and Related Statistics” by Ms. Joyce Anne S. Lumactud, ILS-GAD Vice-Chair. The first half of the two-day affair close with a Role-Playing activity facilitated by GAD Committee members to ensure a deeper understanding of gender-based sensitivity.

Day 2 zeroed in on the legal aspects surrounding the issue of Sexual Harassment in the workplace. This was made possible by a thorough discussion of the following presentation topics: “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Administrative Sanctions in the Private Sector” delivered by Atty. Ana Alexandra Castro, Founder of Youth Against Sexual Harassment; and “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Administrative Sanctions in the Public Sector” discussed by Atty. Rosechelan Charity Acorda from the Civil Service Commission-NCR.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a topic that has been present among academic, political and office discussions. The lack or inefficient handling of sexual harassment in the workplace can be attributable to inadequate organizational policies, managerial rationalization, and inertial tendencies (i.e. resistance to change, failure to address the problem, etc.) Gender Sensitivity Trainings (GSTs) have been an integral part of GAD advocacy as a mechanism to increase awareness among ILS employees. The training emphasized the importance of gender sensitivity to minimize, if not eradicate, sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) is the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment. For more information on this story, please contact the Advocacy and Publications Division at 527-3490.